Last Saturday afternoon, I had planned a picnic lunch for us to enjoy together while David was working. At first, a couple of my children were not too excited and just wanted to stay home - and I was willing to picnic alone if needed. I was really craving some fresh air, woodsy surroundings and slow.
Once they all decided to go - we made our way and had such a lovely time we stayed two hours! I did not bring anything to do on purpose as I wanted to just be still.
There was a lot of imaginative play and it made my heart happy just to be able to sit and watch this. I enjoyed watching and listening to the breeze fluttering through the leaves overhead and could hear the geese honking from the water.
It reminded me of when I challenged myself to sit still for five minutes every day this summer. I did well with it, but I nearly always had something to occupy my hands - reading a book or magazine, a crochet project, etc. This time I wanted to truly be still.
And it was glorious. I felt rested and energized and the rest of my day went much better. At the end of the day, I felt like I had gotten more done even though I took a long break in the middle. And when we got home from the picnic, we all plopped down in front of the first Narnia movie and just enjoyed being together.
As I was fixing supper, I realized that I felt more at peace and more calm than I have in a while. I've been overwhelmed with keeping up on some things lately and it seems counter intuitive how slowing down can be an anecdote to catching up.
Lunch was kept super simple as I pulled some bread dough out of the fridge and baked it. We love the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day recipe and I use half white flour and half freshly ground wheat. The freshly ground does not rise very well so it makes a low loaf, but we agreed it was our favorite and super yummy and I feel better that it has at least half whole wheat in it.
Sliced cheese was pulled from the fridge and an apple sliced. Everyone fixed their own water and off we headed. It was the perfect temp - not too hot and not too cool, just lovely for being outside.
I'm really craving slow right now and with Christmas coming, this is one of my favorite times of year to really slow down. I'm going to challenge myself to be still for at least five minutes every day. And not to occupy myself with anything other than just being still.
One of my very favorite verses is Psalm 46:10, "Be still and know that I am God." Isn't this reminder especially needed when we do hit the overwhelmed feelings? Instead of pushing harder and harder to try to catch up which will push us into stress and anxiety, being still and resting in the fact that God is God and that hasn't changed can calm and slow our hearts and bring a perfect peace only He can give.
Would you like to join me? Being still for five minutes every day for the next month? It should not be one more thing to do or a burden on your to-do list but rather an opportunity to have others walk alongside us. Community is such a blessing and encouragement, to feel that we are standing shoulder to shoulder with like-minded friends. I'm going to take a photo and post it as many days as I can of my five minutes of stillness surroundings. Post your photo too and tag #bestillfor5aday.
A small simple idea that can add slowness to our busy days. Hope you join in when you can! I'll start posting Monday!